Today, armed with two excited kids, a rather large pregnancy bump and an Out n’About Nipper Double pushchair I braved the Baby Show.
And it was actually a really good day (I knew that it would be good in terms of bargains, information and innovative products, but I wasn’t so sure about managing with two kids and a bump on my own!).
All the great services on offer combined to make it a really easy and fun experience. We started off with a session from Diddi Dance at the Zinplex Activity Zone – and the Wee Man and Bubby D absolutely LOVED it. They did a bit of hip hop, some pom pom shaking, some hula hooping and some ribbon twirling and the smiles never left their faces. We will definitely be looking into whether there is a local class that we can fit into our schedules!
Following that, it was on to bargain hunting. Here are some of the great deals we found:
Mothercare are offering 10% off everything, including existing offers, and have also launched their new rewards club ‘MyMothercare’ which has a whole range of benefits including 20% off toys for your child’s next birthday, exclusive vouchers and sneaky peek previews of sales.
Chicco are offering some fantastic deals, with a free Boppy pillow when you buy the Next2Me crib, 50% off the New Mum Comfort Collection, a free Polly Magic Highchair and Hoopla Bouncer when you buy the complete Urban Travel System, and a free Oasys Fixplus 2-3 car seat when you buy the Oasys 1 isofix car seat. (The Wee Man and Bubby D also greatly enjoyed playing with all the Chicco toys, which had 20% off – in fact they had so much fun that we’ve ended up buying two remote control cars to carry on the fun at home!).
Ewan the Dream Sheep has £5 off – and we were also excited to hear that he’s soon to be joined by a new friend, Russell the Dream Sheepdog, which is aimed more at toddlers.
MAM Baby are offering a free self-sterilising anti-colic bottle when you fill out their online form and bring a printout or a copy of the acknowledgement on your smartphone along to the stand.
Cuddledry have £5 off all of their apron and toddler towels.
There is 15% off the Lascal Buggy Board at the Cheeky Rascals stand.
Prima Baby are offering a goody bag for £2 which has a whole lot of great products as well as a copy of the magazine. Or you can take out a subscription for £20 and choose one of four Tommee Tippee products to take away for free!
Lansinoh are offering a discount on the whole range of their products, from lanolin cream to double electric breastpumps (which at £89 for a closed system, incredibly quiet and efficient pump is a definite bargain!).
Hope’s Relief are offering a free product when you spend over £20.
And there were some brilliant competitions too:
Mothercare are running a competition to win an Expedior pushchair every day of the show.
Cosatto have a competition to win one of their new Ooba pushchairs.
Bibetta and Sands resort have a family holiday up for grabs for one lucky visitor to the show.
Tinies childcare have a competition to win Love2Shop vouchers.
LoveBoo are giving away a free Pink Lining bag filled with LoveBoo products
plus, plenty more offers and competitions…
By midday we had got enough of the items on our list for Pippin that it was time to make a stop off at the Emma’s Diary Collect By Car service, to prevent the pushchair from tipping over under the weight!
And then the Wee Man and Bubby D saw what was on offer in the creche (lots and lots of great Fisher Price toys to play with!) and clamoured to go in. Which I gladly agreed to, so that I could have a look round at all the great new products on offer, in between taking in some of the talks on the main stage and also the opportunity to grab a bit of lunch!
First of all – pushchairs.
With Pippin shortly to make an appearance, I was really excited to see the new Out n’About Nipper Double carrycot, which has only just started to become available in the shops. It’s possible to use just one, with an adaptor bar that creates a bumper on the other seat, or to have two carrycots if you have twins. Having seen how the Wee Man and Bubby D bat each other about a bit when they’re sitting side by side I think the carrycot will definitely be a good idea for Pippin and it’s a great addition to the range.
Joie have a great range of pushchairs on offer at very reasonable prices, including the Mirus which can easily flick between forward and parent facing mode; and the Brisk. Even better, they can all be viewed from the Pit Stop cafe, which provided me with a much needed sit down and opportunity to relax and have a drink.
iCandy also launched their new 2014 range, which includes the Raspberry and the Peach 3. The Raspberry is a sleek, chrome or black framed stroller with a compact fold which can be forward or parent facing – and it’s suitable from birth. It comes in a whole range of lovely colours and has a very generous storage basket, the option to fold with the seat attached or detached, and it’s lovely and lightweight too.
The Peach 3 range is also very covetable – with chrome or black chassis available, lots of different colour combinations and a whole range of parent friendly features.
A colourful option that caught our eye was the Cosatto Ooba, which has a lovely patterned raincover, colourful seat lining and wonderfully textured detailing which really makes it stand out. Features such as the option to move the handle for easy access or feeding your baby and the completely machine washable liner and footmuff show how much thought has gone into making this a pushchair that really works well for parents and babies.
And finally, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to take a look at the new Babyzen Yoyo 0+, which still folds small enough to be approved as cabin baggage, is lightweight enough to carry around on your shoulder and yet provides a comfortable and cosy ride for even newborn babies.
Pushchairs aside, here are some of the other great new products we also found on our way round the show:
The LumiPotti – a potty that lights up when it senses your child waking in the night, allowing them to confidently move towards a nappy free sleep.
The GroLight – a ‘nightlight to brightlight’ which fits into your existing ceiling light and provides a soft light for feeding or changing nappies without causing too much disturbance.
BuggiLights – they clip to a buggy or scooter and make it much more visible in the dark (and they look like ladybirds too, which was a real winner with the kids!).
New Tommee Tippee soothers, which come in four different ranges (fun, anytime, night time and air) and have been developed with a new orthodontic silicone teat which is aimed at maximising baby acceptance. (The Wee Man was adamant that he was choosing some for Pippin, and equally adamant that they must be blue!).
Plus, we couldn’t leave (after the kids were finally dragged away from the creche) without visiting some of our favourites:
Babybay, where we got a new mattress for Pippin’s cosleeping cot; Cheeky Wipes, Annabel Karmel and Funky Giraffe (Bubby D and the Wee Man helped pick out some bibs for Pippin); Melobaby for a change bag, Water Wipes for my hospital bag and Dr Browns – because excitingly I won a competition and was presented with one of their manual breastpumps!
It was a tiring but fun day out, and after all that activity we now feel much more prepared for the arrival of Pippin!